Monday, August 31, 2009

A little sparkle for the sendoff

Although it seems like a tiny detail in the grand scheme of wedding planning, our sendoff is one that I’ve been pondering for a while now! I feel like a well planned sendoff will be a great conclusion to a wonderful night. I am so obsessed with time tables, lists…all the general psycho perfectionism things you can think of…and the thought of just ending the night with the lights being turned on like the end of your high school prom just seems…wrong. Very wrong!

So, I started to contemplate. If we were able to have a grandiose sendoff, what better than leaving our reception on a boat????


Ok, probably not the cheapest option, and there would be the conundrum of where we would actually go once we were on the boat…the hotel that Justin and I are most likely staying at for the wedding night is not accessible by boat! Sadly, renting one specifically for the purpose of having a dramatic sendoff might not be the most practical option.

Sometimes I hate being practical! Grrrrrr.

So…what to do that is a fun, dramatic option that would make for some fabulous photos?


Bingo. Sparklers!!!! I am currently obsessed with the idea of having a sparkler sendoff at the wedding.


I’ve always loved to see pictures of people making fun shapes with sparklers, and how cute are these ideas for a wedding!?!?

This one reminds me of an engagement ring! No?

I secretly want to steal the idea of spelling out “LOVE” with the sparklers…how freaking cool is this???

All of these photos just make me envious of these weddings; I hope that Justin and I will be able to have just as wonderful of a moment on our day! Are you planning on leaving your reception with a sendoff? If so, what are you doing?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Venue love…for the reception

Previously, you saw our ceremony location and where the cocktail hour will take place.

Now…its reception time!

During the cocktail hour, the staff at Carlouel will flip the room where the ceremony was held and turn it into a beautiful reception site! Where the chairs are for the ceremony, tables of 8-10 will be assembled.

Some tables will run into the next room, which has a hardwood floor…get ready to put your dancing shoes on! (note: the floor will be clear, unlike in the pictures here!)

At the moment, I am loving the idea of having tasting stations for dinner. They seem to be all the rage right now, and I am quite sure that I don’t mind hopping on the bandwagon…I am a fan of food, and I like that our guests would have many options to choose from, and it won’t be a buffet! Carlouel will set up the tasting stations in an adjoining room, so the serving equipment, stations, etc won’t be eyesores in the middle of the reception.

Directly across from the entrance to Carlouel is their private beach that you access by this boardwalk…

I don’t know how I will incorporate the beach in some aspect of the day…perhaps for a sendoff with sparklers? Can you think of any creative ideas?


Venue love…for the cocktail hour

Today we’ll continue our photo tour of Carlouel! Yesterday, you saw the spot where Justin and I will be married…

And then, the celebration will begin!

Since we are having our ceremony indoors, after the ceremony is over, our guests will move outdoors by the pool for the cocktail hour! Carlouel is right on the water in Clearwater, so everyone will have a fabulous view of the ocean, boats, etc right around sunset!

Guests can stand on the lawn, or sit at a table by the pool, while hors d’ouevres and drinks are served.

Could you just see a steel drummer performing out here??? ;)

I love the idea of some photo ops with the bridal party/family on one of the boat slips…if only we had a boat to go with it!

After an hour of munching on appetizers, our wedding guests will walk back into to main room for the reception! Tune in for a peek next time!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Venue love…for the ceremony

Ok, so we are traveling backwards in time a few weeks, before I moved! A short time before I left Florida, mom and I had our second meeting at Carlouel to talk specifics!

Can you just sense the excitement? I assure you…it was immense! We arrived at Carlouel that afternoon armed with our contract/info booklet, and of course a camera! And I know you have been dying to see the pictures…right?

So…would you like a tour? Follow me please…

Guests will drive up to the front entrance, and the valet will park their car (unless of course, they are traveling via limo or other transportation!).

As guests enter the front door, they walk into this entryway…

I believe that the couches can/will be removed. I’m imagining some white pillar candles on the mantle of the fireplace on the left, and perhaps some poofy white poms hanging from the rafters on the ceiling…

Turn to the left, and you will enter the room where the ceremony will take place…

In front of this beautiful stone fireplace (ignore the tables, it will be set up with rows of chairs for the ceremony)…

Don’t you love the cute chandeliers?

I will admit, I am a bit disappointed that there isn’t a mantle on the fireplace…I was hoping to set up an array of different sized white pillar candles on a mantle in lieu of flowers, but now it looks like we’re going to have to be creative with our d├ęcor! We are able to use two wrought iron stands on either side of the fireplace, to fill with flowers, greenery, etc…but I’m not sure how it will complement everything. The greenery that the venue provides includes palm fronds, etc…so it will look very beachy, which is definitely not the look I’m going for. I’m going to hit the drawing board on this issue…any ideas for me?

Up next? I’ll give you a sneak peek at the location of cocktail hour!

Friday, August 28, 2009

“Hair”spiration for a Bride with…Medium Length Hair???

The last time I visited my fabulous stylist, we talked wedding hair. Before she started chopping away at my hair like I am used to, I asked her what I would be realistically able to achieve with the hair that I have, and how much length I could feasibly add in the time period I have to work with. I have to love Laurie, because she immediately responded with “I know EXACTLY what I want to do with your hair.”

Oh please, do tell!

Apparently, my hair will grow about ½ of an inch a month, which will put me at total growth of 4 extra inches by the time the wedding comes around (assuming I’ll be coming in for a few trims, that will eliminate perhaps ½ of an inch each time). So…that will put me at a few inches below the shoulders, assuming that I don’t freak out and chop it off myself before then!

Laurie suggests a low chignon, with a lot of teasing/volume on the top of my head. I rushed home and started to look at some ideas. And breathed a sigh of relief, because these look much more bridal to me!


I love this picture…I have long bangs like this photo, and I love how it is an “updo” without looking too formal. I think that with my projected hair growth, this is an achievable look.

But, Laurie also mentioned that we can add some “extension” without physically attaching hair. There is the option of adding some “extension” inside the chignon itself to make it look fuller. I’m digging this idea…especially after Justin and I turned on the movie What Happens In Vegas the other night. And I fell in love with this…

And yes, after searching high and low for photos online, I had to pause the movie at multiple times to take screen shots of the hair…(how in the world are there none online???).

I’m dying to find out if this is something I can achieve when I visit Laurie on a trip back to Florida. The suspense is going to kill me!

Did you find hair inspiration somewhere you weren’t expecting? How did you find the perfect coif for the big day? Did your hairdresser give an opinion of his/her own?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

“Hair”spiration for a Short Haired Bride?

Ok, so at first, I wanted to be stubborn and keep my hair the way that I like it. Why should I have to change because of one singular day in my life?

Bad attitude Katie, bad attitude.

The reality is that I have very very fine hair. And it is stick straight. It does not hold a curl without about 10 pounds of hairspray involved. Yummm, who likes crunchy hairstyles???


So I began searching for some short hair inspiration…and this…is what I kept seeing.

Perhaps a bit too “crunchy” for what I’m going for…can you imagine how much hairspray is involved in that?


Ok, so this is a very very pretty option, but does it say “wedding” when your hair looks pretty much the same as you wear it every single day, but with a veil added? I'm not sure if it is exactly the style that I'm going for. Hmmm.

After some more searching, I DID run across one set of inspiration photos that made me very hopeful. Mrs. Cheese, from Weddingbee (pretty much one of my biggest addictions EVER), has an inverted bob in every day life, and she managed to have her bridal hair look just like an updo…I thought it was extremely successful!

How beautiful does she look???

Well, despite the one promising photo, the decision was made. Its time to grow like there’s no tomorrow!

Have you found any good inspiration for a bride with short hair out there?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hair Through the Years, Part 2

I must have had an epiphany right before my freshman year of high school, because on a whim I decided that I wanted to cut my hair short, and about 2 weeks before classes started, my mom took me to the salon and I received the chop…to right about the shoulders.

Which evolved to a short cut by my chin/ears during high school/early college.

Yep, not so much of a fan of that hairstyle nowadays...

And during college, it fluctuated between chin length and shoulder length (I won’t get into it, but I had a traumatic experience with a hairdresser who “slipped” when cutting my hair…and it was left at about 3 inches long total...even shorter than the pictures you just saw...the week before sorority recruitment. Ouch.). And, apparently I learned to like color during college, as my hair transformed into an auburn/red hue, as you can see in the photos!

Experimenting with some layers...

Gotta love the side bangs!

College graduation came and went, and I got my first job in the real world. I was back in Florida, and back with my regular stylist, who at times will like to try new looks in my hair. For I while I sported the inverted bob with bangs.

First time having bangs since middle school! And, I must say, they are much better looking nowadays!

And then I got sick of the red hair…in an attempt to return to my natural color, I dyed my hair what looked on the box to be dark brown, but turned out to be more black in reality.

This eventually washed out, and I was left with a side banged version of the inverted bob that I love.

Hmm....attractive faces here, you know it!

…and then I got engaged. And I promptly decided that I am going to have to grow out my hair. Because, well…there is just not a lot of “hair”spiration, if you will, for short haired brides out there. Currently, I am pretty solidly at shoulder length...and pretty much ready to take the scissors to it myself (...self control Katie...self control....)! Let's see how far I can get it by May!

A current photo for reference's sake

Did you immediately start growing out your hair in preparation for your wedding?